Let me start by saying that I do not subscribe to the idea of a “balanced” life. Balance is usually between two things struggling for dominance. Life is multi-faceted, so we should aim for a well rounded life not a balanced one.
That being said, having fun is one of the most important aspects of a well rounded life. If you don’t have something you do that brings you joy, you need to do a little re-evaluation, find things you enjoy, and carve out time to enjoy those things.
Why is it important to divide our energy towards the multiple facets of our life?
Life is not a one or two way experience. For all aspects of our lives to thrive, they need our attention. Taking the time to focus on one arena of life gives us a greater sense of control, which in turn helps us thrive in other arenas. So, surprisingly, taking the day to shut down from work and family and focus on caring for yourself and relaxing can be extremely beneficial to your work and your relationships. In other words, creating time for fun activities or “play” might just be what you need to help you feel better about yourself, so you relate better with family, or get out of your head enough to figure out a solution to that work issue that has been bothering you for a while.
You have fun. Right?
We might think about having fun as something that can be tightly squeezed somewhere in the teeny cracks left over at weekends or as the “owambe” parties we attend every Saturday. But really, fun should be something that relaxes our body and mind. Partying may be “IT” for you, while reading is “IT” for me. The point is, it’s crucial to our physical and emotional well being that we find the thing that is custom tailored fun for us. It does not have to be everyone’s definition of fun.
Be honest with yourself about the things that truly relax you and go for it! For some it might be three parties in one Saturday, for others it could be staying home with some good food, and for others still, it could be hours at the gym working up a lot of sweat!!!
Where on earth do I find the time?
Truth is, nobody has the time for anything. I’m sure many of us would jump at the chance to go jetting around the world, but honestly, who has time for that? The people that make time for it!! Time is our most valuable resource; there’s no buying it back. So make time for the things that are most important to you, then let all the non-priorities scramble for the left-overs.
We don’t have an hour to spend talking about that person’s life or three hours to spend scrolling through Instagram, but we somehow manage to fit it in, God knows how? SOMEHOW!!
If your well being is important to you, you will make time to care for yourself and have fun! Do you really have to go to your aunty’s cousin’s daughter’s or co-worker’s wedding? Short answer, no. So there, now you have next Saturday free to get into that sewing practical class you’ve been meaning to try. Also, do you just absolutely need to stay home all weekend to catch up on that show even though you already downloaded it and it really isn’t going anywhere? Of course not. Great! Now you can go go-carting with your friends like you’ve wanted to for a while but “didn’t have the time.”
How can making time for fun help me find what I love to do?
Here’s how I like to think about it. Sure, when you first start out, the time you allocate to fun would be used for just that; catching up, winding down, maybe getting a few extra hours of sleep, you know, all the good stuff! Eventually though, you will begin to wonder, what else can I do with this time I’ve carved out all for myself? This is where the real change begins! You will start trying new things, discovering activities you never thought you liked, and finding that you love them. Maybe starting a business, following an entirely new career path, joining a good cause, or even starting a new movement.
Carving out time for fun and things you enjoy just might be the catalyst that changes how you view other aspects of life you may be struggling with. You may find that new sparkle time in your week starts to illuminate the rest of the time, little by little. Building a fun life, doing what you enjoy and finding the joy in life again, might just lie in setting aside an hour here, and an hour there to enjoy yourself and start the journey of discovery to a life you love.